It was time for the last question at President Bush’s last news conference this morning, the relative first in a series of “lasts” over the next week. I turned up the radio, anxious to hear what question would be the one to put the historical imprint on President Bush’s term.
It was a question about Barack Obama.
You arrived here wanting to be a uniter, not a divider. Do you think Barack Obama can be a uniter, not a divider, or is — with the challenges for any president and the unpopular decisions, is it impossible for any president to be a uniter, not a divider?
The president — avert your eyes, hard-core Democrats — hit it out of the park.
I hope the tone is different for him than it has been for me. I am disappointed by the tone in Washington, D.C. I’ve — I try to do my part by not engaging in the name-calling and — and by the way, needless name-calling. I have worked to be respectful of my opponents on different issues.
During his answer, I could only think about Garrison Keillor’s political column this weekend when “The Old Scout” dropped a nuke on the incoming president, with whom he’s had a man crush for more than a year.
So you shouldn’t fret, dear hearts, if what you do doesn’t draw a big crowd or get written up in the papers. Be proud. If you’ve dedicated yourself to the tango, or playing drop-thumb banjo, or digging up ancient cities, or writing sonnets, you are beautiful, and please do not yearn for the bright lights. Those wombats reading the news off teleprompters are talking to the bedridden, the delusional and the criminal. The happy StairMaster president is on his way to a mansionette in Dallas, to be the decider of where to put the sofa. His successor, Mister Mambo, has cast his lot with Harvard and Yale and old Clinton hands, and soon enough, Lord knows, they will get the first of many comeuppances, and their shining faces will be chopfallen.
Some of the letter writers to Salon.com were not amused
Right now, Barack Obama should be called Mr. TCB. Does Keillor know what TCB means? Maybe he should check out that old Motown classic “Taking Care of Business.” (Bob notes: Wasn’t that Bachman — not that Bachmann — Turning Overdrive? Wasn’t T.C.B. the name of a show from Motown?) Keillor should also be informed that in Swahili, mambo means an item of business, a responsibility, a care, a concern, a worry, a problem. The plural form of mambo is jambo, and Jambo or Hujambo is a common greeting in Swahili. (P.S. I hope Keillor can recognize the linguistic efficiency of Swahili where one word does the work of a dozen English equivalents.) So perhaps Mr. Mambo isn’t really a bad name for Obama, albeit it should be Mr. Jambo, or better Bwana Jambo, since even before his inauguration, Obama is faced with a whole series “jambo.”
Yeah, well, whatever. The point is: If the administration isn’t even in office yet, and a Garrison Keillor Democrat is already taking shots at him, then let the dividing begin!
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